The Whole Sad Story
As my wife remarked painfully yesteday, "wow, the Blue Jays really make the Orioles look good." Oh, it burns. The Jays made the O's look good again yesterday, dropping their 4th in a row, 5-2.
The story was about the same, except for one twist. The bullpen couldn't blow this game because the offense never gave the Jays a lead. Josh Towers started the game getting banged around, giving up line drive after line drive, and was lucky to make it to the 6th only having given up 3 runs. He did settle down a big between the 2nd and 5th innings, but really he mostly just got lucky. His final line for the day, 9 hits AND (most distressingly) 3 walks in 5 innings, was more 2006 Towers than 2005 Towers, but he looked okay at times. One of his runs was on a walk issued by Jeremy Accardo to Miguel Tejada with the bases loaded. Accardo, though, really saved the day. He pitched 3 innings, surrendering 2 walks but no hits, and somehow kept the Jays in the game when a rout looked imminent.
Unfortunately, his efforts went for naught, as the Jays' offense could muster very little. It seemed as though every time they got a runner on, they grounded into a double play, grounding into 4 throughout the game (2 by Frank Thomas). Their best chance was in the 6th when, down 3-2 with the bases loaded, Jason Smith, pinch-hitting, (more on this later) struck out to end the threat.
Well, Gibbons got tossed in the 5th for arguing a strike call to Adam Lind. It wasn't strike 3, so I'm pretty sure Gibbons was just getting tossed intentionally either because he was unbelievably frustrated or he wanted to light a fire under his players. Either way, this wasn't a Gibbons decision, but I still cannot figure out for the life of me why Jason Smith was pinch-hitting in the 6th with the bases loaded and 2 outs and Chad Bradford pitching. This is why the Jays acquired Matt Stairs! Smith just won't do - in that situation you want someone patient, which he just isn't. (also, he just isn't a great hitter). His game is agressiveness and of course he struck out on a lousy pitch. If needing Matt Stairs TO PLAY THE OUTFIELD is somehow preventing the Jays from USING HIM AS A LEFTHANDED PINCH HITTER, SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG. Ditch Ryan Roberts and call up someone who can play the outfield. Or the Jays could've used Zaun to pinch-hit, since they used him as a pinch-hitter a couple innings later anyway. Incidentally, Smith OR McDonald could play the outfield as well as Stairs, so the point is moot anyway. This was the best chance the Jays had to score some runs. Also, not pinch-hitting in the 6th for Phillips (although a lefty was pitching) or Clayton (same) with Greg Zaun was curious.
At the plate, the Jays managed 7 hits, four of which were collected by Royce Clayton and Alexis Rios. Rios had the only extra base hit, a double, and scored on Lind's RBI single. If the Jays can't rock left-handed pitchers with control problems (Loewen walked 7 through 5 2/3 innings), they can't hit anybody right now. Which is about what we're seeing. The Jays left 16 on base today. Hurry back, Troy.
Clayton Watch Royce went 2-4 with a 2 out RBI single scoring Overbay. He is now hitting .311/.347/.467. . If he continues at this rate, he will beat his career OPS by 132 points. Ain't gonna happen, folks.
Jays of the Day
. Accardo , I suppose. He kept the Jays in the game with 3 strong innings (4 Ks) after walking Tejada, but they just couldn't put anything together. I guess Rios, Lind, Overbay, and Clayton deserve honorable mention for not looking totally lost at the plate.